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Tusculum eliminated from SAC Tournament with losses to Catawba, Carson-Newman

Tusculum eliminated from SAC Tournament with losses to Catawba, Carson-Newman
HARROGATE, Tenn. ---

Tusculum College was eliminated from the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament with a pair of losses on Friday. The Pioneers were defeated 2-0 by Catawba in an afternoon game and lost 6-3 in eight innings to Carson-Newman in the final game of the day Friday night.

Catawba 2, Tusculum 0

(Box Score)

Caroline Turner and Carley Tysinger combined on a five-hitter and Taylor Adams knocked in the game's only runs with a two-run double in the second inning to lift the Indians to the winners bracket final against Anderson.

Turner (5-5) allowed three hits and struck out one over 4 1/3 innings before giving way to Tysinger, who threw over 270 pitches and set a Division II record with 27 strikeouts in a 6-3 win in 16 innings over Lenoir-Rhyne on Thursday night. Tysinger struck out four and worked around a pair of leadoff hits in the sixth and seventh innings for the save.

Kelly King (19-12) was the hard-luck loser for the Pioneers, after allowing five hits and two earned runs while striking out one in her 30th complete game in as many starts this season.

The Pioneers had several scoring chances in the game, but were unable to come up with the timely hit. Tusculum left seven runners on base, including two on in the second and fifth innings.

After a scoreless first inning, Catawba broke through with two runs in the top of the second. A leadoff walk to Katherine Shumaker was followed by a single from Sydney Hyder. After a grounder moved the runners, Adams hit a liner that landed on the chalk down the left-field line and drove home both runners for a 2-0 Indians lead.

Tusculum came back in the bottom of the inning as Courtney Hutcherson drew a leadoff walk and Katie Brennan followed with a one-out base on balls. However, Turner induced a pair of popups to end the Pioneer rally.

After Catawba left two runners on base in the third, the next rally came in the Tusculum fourth as Kaytlin Stroinski led off by reaching on an error and Hutcherson followed with a blooper behind third base for a single. The Indians were able to escape as a caught stealing was followed by a pair of outfield fly balls to keep the Catawba lead at 2-0.

Catawba threatened again in the fifth on infield singles by Kelsey Burgess and Holli Chandler, but grounders to Stroinski at short and Alix Kruel at second helped King get out of the inning unscathed.

Tusculum came back with a one-out rally in the fifth, triggered by an infield single by Paige Sneed with one out. Kruel then followed with a single to left to put runners at first and second, but Tysinger came on in relief and chalked up a pair of strikeouts to preserve the two-run margin.

A leadoff single by Stroinski in the sixth was followed by a bunt into scoring position, but a popup and a strikeout stranded her at second. In their final chance in the seventh, the Pioneers got a leadoff double off the fence by Nicole Ball, but she was unable to advance as the Indians closed out the win.

No player in the game had more than one hit, but Shumaker reached twice on a pair of walks from King. Hutcherson also reached twice on a walk and a single to go along with a sacrifice bunt.

Carson-Newman 6, Tusculum 3 (8 innings)
(Box Score)

Haley Taylor hit a go-ahead two-run triple and later scored on a sacrifice fly as the Eagles scored three times in the top of the eighth to break a 3-3 tie and eliminate the Pioneers from the SAC Tournament.

The Eagles (34-17) will play Wingate in an elimination game on Saturday, while the Pioneers saw their season come to an end with a record of 31-24.

Each of the game's first eight runs scored via extra-base hit, as a two-run triple in the second inning by Carolyn Williamson was countered by a three-run homer in the top of the third by the Eagles' Brittany Hefner. Tusculum tied the game in the fifth on an RBI triple by Stroinski, but left runners in scoring position in both the fifth and sixth innings.

Cassie Lyons (10-2) earned the victory for Carson-Newman after allowing three earned runs on seven hits while striking out three. King (19-13) took the loss in her final collegiate appearance, surrendering 11 hits and six runs (five earned) while striking out three and walking a pair.

Carson-Newman threatened in each of the first two innings, getting a two-out triple from Sara Kelley in the first and a one-out triple from Caitlyn Lance in the second but failing to score each time.

Tusculum grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second as Tavi Parris was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a sacrifice. Following a two-out walk to Kruel, Williamson delivered both runners with a triple to left-center and a 2-0 Tusculum lead.

The Eagles came back in the top of the third as Kelli Hensley singled, moved to second on a sacrifice and took third on a single by Kelley. Hefner then hit a three-run home run to center field to swing the lead in Carson-Newman's favor at 3-2.

After threatening in the fourth following a two-out double by Brennan, the Pioneers knotted the game in the fifth. Williamson led off the inning with a strikeout but reached first on a wild pitch. After being bunted to second, she scored on a triple by Stroinski that evened the game at 3-3.

The Pioneers got a runner to second in the sixth as Parris led off with a single and moved up on a sacrifice, but were unable to bring her home. Both teams had runners in the seventh but neither advanced past first, and the game went into extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, Jessica Morgan was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved up when Hayley Burnette reached safely on a misplayed bunt. Taylor then tripled to right field to give the Eagles a 5-3 lead, and Hensley followed with a sacrifice fly for a 6-3 advantage. Tusculum was retired in order in the bottom half of the eighth.

Hensley finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored out of the leadoff spot for the Eagles, while Kelley was 3-for-5 with a run and Lance finished 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk.

For the Pioneers, Stroinski and Hutcherson each went 2-for-4 while Kruel walked twice and scored a run.

- TC -

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